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Nothing To Lose

Starring Martin Lawrence and Tim Robbins
Written and Directed by Steve Oedekerk

IN SHORT: You've got 'nothing to lose' but your ticket money, and you won't mind losing that at all.

OK. Right off the bat I'm going to tell y'all that I know that there are lots of folk out there who aren't going to go near Nothing To Lose because of the flood of four letter words spewing from the mouths of the title characters. Before what's left of my old film student Self starts spewing %#*@ like "writer/director Steve Oedekerk makes a very clever point with the use of the language" (which he's gonna do, 'cuz it's true) Cranky points out that he, once upon a time, had a mouth like a sewer and so has little problem with the language.

But that kind of language bores the %#*@ out of Cranky now, and it's an indication of how funny a flick Nothing to Lose is, that Cranky reared back his head in his incredibly uncomfortable seat and laughed along with everyone else.

This version of "the odd couple" takes white-bread boy Nick Beam (Tim Robbins) and South Central's T. Paul (Martin Lawrence) on a trip to Arizona and back. Along the way White-Bread, who previously preferred the words "poop" and "excrement" to the four letter noun, develops a sewer mouth that would get him slapped in any Sunday School in the country. "T"metamorphs into a standup kind of guy, whose use of sewer language is a front for his insecurities. Writer/Director Steve Oedekerk cleverly uses language to make the point that, at the root, we are all the same.

Excuse me a sec' while I kill a film student. <sound of film student dying here> Ah, much better.

Nick Beam has it all. High paying job as an ad exec. Gorgeous wife (Kelly Preston) and tolerable ass of a boss (Michael McKean). Nick goes home early one day and finds wife and boss Doing The Nasty and, as his world crumbles around him, drives his expensive car into an area of LA that it shouldn't be in with door locks in the up position.

Into the car leaps "T," demanding wallet and keys. With the reply "Boy, did you pick the wrong guy on the wrong day," the wallet goes out the window and the car heads for Arizona at break neck speed. On the way back, they'll cross paths with another black-white pair of real life highwaymen (John C. McGinley and Giancarlo Esposito) several times; rip-off a couple of stores and gas stations; get shot and, if that isn't enough, castrate a statue.

The thing is, folks, from the first frames -- in which Robbins and Preston tell each other how much they hate and have been unfaithful to each other -- right to the happy ending of Nothing to Lose you'll be in stitches. Not the kind that hurt when it rains, the laughing kind.

We know that Lawrence can be funny. Robbins demonstrated his winsome kind of humor back in The Hudsucker Proxy. Together, though, they make that rare cinematic team that you'd probably watch again. They take a script that easily could have been directed into the ground as a heavy handed drama and, under the guidance of (TV's) In Living Color and (Eddie Murphy's) Nutty Professor writer Oedekerk, deliver a very funny movie.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Nothing To Lose, he would have paid...


That's 7 less a buck for the language. If you don't give a %#*@ about that, add it back on.

Click to buy films by Steve Oedekerk
Click to buy films starring Martin Lawrence
Click to buy films starring Tim Robbins

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